The Worthst

Although not a West Sound Brewery, I find his sentiments important for all our brewery brothers. — Jonathan

The Ale Apothecary

Something is definitely afoot.  Generally, historically, usually I find myself only ready to do this blogging thing later in the evening in a eureka moment, under the influence of a bit of Dutch courage.  Under the the guise that this practice of putting down thoughts and intentions is kind of a secret rite, hidden out of sight from the real world that chugs along during the day with seeming far more consequence (with regards to wearing one’s heart upon one’s sleeve, that is).  But not today!  On this fine July Sunday, with the sun ready to wilt anything that dares to ignore it, I am hunkered under the fan with a purpose.

In the name of communication, in the hopes of understanding, I write.
In the name of business, in the hopes of making a living, I am raising prices.

In the infancy of this project, I had hoped that I…

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Narrows Joe…

Got a chance to talk with Joe Walts of Narrows Brewing, and I was quite impressed with his brewing philosophy and in particular where his world resides: Yeast

It sounds cliché, but when asked about his brewing philosophy, Joe was remarkably frank about how important it is to handle yeast correctly, from exacting temperature control to his replenishment program. He could barely contain his excitement when discussing yeast protocol. 

Joe reminds me a lot of a combination of Sound Brewery’s Brad Ginn, and Silver City’s Matt Riggs. Joe really understands the math and how to finesse his yeast cultures.

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Strange Brewfest 2014

Strange Brewfest 2014Strange Brewfest Decade Edition:

Another Epic Strange Brew in the books, and this one had the strangest yet still very drinkable beers yet.

Every year we see improvements to how this festival runs, and this year was no exception. Of course the nice weather helped keep the crowd from crushing into the event hall, but it was great to see the music piped outside on giant speakers as well.

The event was well staffed and well attended.

Most West Sound Breweries were present offering up some amazing beers. It would be difficult to say what was the best, but one of our own, 7 Seas, did take home the top honor for 7 Bloody Seas. Well done!

Bainbridge BrewingBainbridge Island Brewing might have been the most talked about for their truly strange Miso Beery, brewed with shitake mushrooms, kombu, and katsuobushi. Served warm, with a miso foam and freeze dried green onions and wasabi furukake, It literally tasted like miso soup. Suck Our Balls was a Bubble Tea IPA with tapioca balls, sweetened condensed milk and a big straw. Nacho Cheese Beeritos, had 25% Doritos in the mash. All truly innovative, and interesting brews.

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The Scrooge

Original Old Scrooge

Three or four years ago I was at a barley-wine tasting and there were some interesting verticals, one of which I have since been curious about. It was just three brews, and they were in three different bottles. I didn’t ask at the time, and decided I should go to the source.

Silver City Brewery’s Old Scrooge is a local favorite, and a very solid beer. Also, it’s my kind of beer. Talking with Don “Big Daddy” Spencer I learned the inside story to this award-winning ale.

The first batch was brewed in 1997 and release in both 1998 and 1999. Don explained that it didn’t sell as well as they had hoped, and ultimately he shelved it, including taking a case of 12 oz bottles home to stash. But he forgot about it. It sat under a bench for years, only to be rediscovered in 2008 when he popped a cap and learned it had aged really well. The he submitted it to GABF and it won a medal. In fact it has won several medals:

Signed and Numbered '99 Old Scrooge. Bottle Courtesy The Gwaltney Collection

Signed and Numbered ’99 Old Scrooge. Bottle Courtesy The Gwaltney Collection

A decade later winning awards, and the lesson here is this brew cellars really well. Silver City has long since run out of the original batch of course, and recent medals are with “fresh” ales.

Brewery Description:Silver City Restaurant and Brewery is proud to present this limited bottling of our very own British style barley wine ale. Old Scrooge is a rich and malty ale with all the character of a fine wine. Its character will fully develop in the bottle over time. Intriguing notes of apple, cherry and apricot occur naturally as a result of its unique fermentation and extended aging. To fully appreciate this special Christmas Ale, we recommend serving it in a brandy glass near 55 F and slowly savored.”

If you want to give this great beer a taste here are some Scrooge-Related Events Coming Soon:

Nov 4th – 2013 Old Scrooge release

Nov 8th  – Limited Bourbon Barrel Scrooge Release

Nov 11thHoliday gift pack release (includes 2013 & Bourbon Barrel 2013 Scrooge)

Dec. 3rd – Scrooge vertical – Tickets go on sale next Friday 11/1 – $20 ticket includes the following:

  • Commemorative snifter glass (Only 72 available)
  • 16oz reception beer
  • Four 4oz samples of the beers below
  • Paired Holiday snacks
  • First chance to buy Scrooge Vertical gift packs – 4 pack with 1 – 22oz bottle of each of the vintages – They will sell for $34.99 – a $2 savings from buying individually.
  • Attendees will be able to purchase bottles individually as well

Enjoy! — Jonathan

Propolis: You Want This!

beeUsing 95%+ Organic and locally sourced ingredients, Propolis is melding Old School with New School, blurring the lines between styles, and creating enticing and healthy herbal infused ales.

Robert & Piper, Propolis Brewing

Robert & Piper, Propolis Brewing

Meeting Robert and Piper is like introducing yourself to an old friend, and when they do open a tasting room, make it a high priority to join them for a brew or two. Robert had been a homebrewer for seven years, and teaming up with Piper, they have a great synergy which promises a long-lived specialty brewery with a heart for natural ingredients and unusual brews. Fresh off a Silver Medal win at the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival, Piper and Robert are invigorated and teeming with ideas for new beers, working diligently to build their brand, and paying close attention to quality control and creativity.P9092212

Although they rightly guard their yeast recipes, they are just that, blends Robert has been perfecting for years. What does that mean to the beer aficionado? Propolis beers taste like no other. You are getting a hand-built beer from top to bottom.

We know the “locally sourced” marketing mantra all too well, but what makes it special in relation to beer, is that you get the terroir effect, with which you get the flavors of the local area coming through as you enjoy your beer. When you enjoy a Propolis Ale, you ARE tasting the Northwest, and specifically all that makes up the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, the surrounding sea, and of course the Olympic Rain Forest.

PrunusLook for Prunus to release on September 17, and enjoy a wonderful 60% sour Belgian style ale with herbs and Port Townsend Wild Cherries. This will be one to enjoy fresh, but also hold one back for a few months as it will develop for quite some time. You may even get to enjoy a limited release of Wine Barrel-Aged Prunus some time in the future.

Trademark Beeswax Tops

Trademark Beeswax Tops

Want to make an amazing meal to go with your ale? Be sure to check the Propolis web site for suggested pairings. Each beer has suggested complimentary and contrasting foods to enjoy with it, making the Proplis experience even more special.

You can find Propolis Ales at fine beer shops and occasionally on tap at better tap rooms. If you can’t get to one, you can also purchase them online at More pictures at WSBN on Facebook!


Poulsbo Brew Crawl BBQ Celebration!


To cap off a great summer of beer and charity, the Poulsbo Brew Crawl held their end-of-contest celebration at North Kitsap Fishline and it was a great success. With matching funds from all three Poulsbo Breweries, the Crawl was able to raise more than $3,000 dollars to help fund the food bank’s many programs.

P8252165So many volunteers helped make this event come together, including Mary Nader, Fishline Executive Director, Andrea Rowe from the Marina Market, Vic Keranen and Mary Earl on food, Poulsbo First Lutheran Church, the amazing crews at Sound Brewery, Slippery Pig Brewery, and Valhöll Brewing, with special assistance from Spring Munsel & Tammy Kettel.

P8252161At the BBQ, many items were raffled off including 2 snowboards, a beautiful cooler, a bar with stools, many shirts and glasses, brewery memorabilia, and more. All items were donated by Click Distributing and Marine View Beverage.

P8252173During the celebration, tours of the food bank facility were given, during which participants learned about the many programs the food bank sponsors, including food, financial aid,  emergency and advocacy services. North Kitsap Fishline is one of the most efficient charitable organizations in the country with an amazing 96.3% of all funds going directly to client services. If you want to help, there’s a page for that!

Another West Sound Beer Milestone!

Brew BitchesValhöll Brewing celebrates their 3rd Anniversary with a fantastic BBQ. Great turnout with amazing BBQ served up by the Wig Wam. The brisket was off-the-hook awesome. What else? Great Music!

Jeff took some time out from making his guests feel special to discuss the brewery’s progress, and it is indeed impressive. Having gone from 40 barrels per month to over 90 barrels, Valhöll is on course to hit capacity by the end of the year, and will be averaging nearly 1000 barrels per year. In the cards are a couple more bright tanks and another brewery site.

Katie Mad Dawg Holcomb

Also coming soon will be their first bottle release, which is currently being tested for shelf stability. Top contenders for their first bottles sold to stores are, Brew Bitch IPA and Spotty Dog ESB.

On hand to kick ass and take names, Katie worked the taps like the Tasmanian Devil. These events will keep you on your toes!

Wig Wam Meat Wagon!Serving brisket, pulled pork, ribs and brats, the Wig Wam does BBQ like no one else. Amazing food and the talk of the celebration. If you have never had the chance to try it, check them out on Tuesdays at the Wig Wam Pub in Gorst for Texas Tuesday!


And what about the music? Chic Shit was great. A little groove, a little, funk, and a little punk. Great choice for a mutli-age event.

A great time right in Historic Downtown Poulsbo, and a banner year to remember. Valhöll Brewing is posting some amazing growth and Jeff is pushing forward with all cylinders firing.